PLATOON MATE: “I believe the constant pressure from his chain of command pushed him over the edge.”

Young soldier driven to suicide after unrelenting, cruel, combat-zone hazing by seasoned NCOs

Stars and Stripes, June 7, 2011

For Army Spc. Brushaun Anderson, there was no escaping his torment.
The senior noncommissioned officers who ruled his life at a remote patrol base in Iraq ordered him to wear a plastic trash bag because they said he was “dirty.”

They forced him to perform excessive physical exercises in his body armor over and over again.

Spc. Brushaun Anderson ended his hazing and his life by firing an M4 round through his forehead on New Years Day 2010

They made him build a sandbag wall that served no military purpose.

Anderson seemed to take it all in stride. Until New Year’s Day 2010, when the once-eager 20-year-old soldier locked himself inside a portable toilet, picked up his M4 rifle, aimed the barrel at his forehead and pulled the trigger.

Anderson left behind a note lamenting his failures in the military, and some soldiers in his unit immediately said that Anderson had been driven to kill himself by leaders bent on humiliating him.

Read the rest of this in-depth investigation:

Listen to Stars & Stripes reporters discuss their experiences reporting on military suicides:


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